Whooping Cough Epidemic Hits California: Six Babies Die

Children's Health, Parenting
In several of my past blogs, including two earlier this week (Low immunization rates linked to epidemic spread of whooping cough and Parents who refuse vaccines put other people’s children in harm’s way), I've warned of the potential dangers, including death, that can occur among unvaccinated children. Now, we're learning that children are beginning to die in California's whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic. Unfortunately, there may be more in future days. My recommendation? (1) Be sure your children are up to date on all of their vaccines. If you're concerned about the vaccine "scare stories" or "myths," take a look at my blog series on "vaccine myths." (2) Be sure that all adolescents and adults in your family get the Dtap (diptheria, tetanus, and acellular [purified] pertussis [whooping cough]) vaccine (even if…
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Letter from Professor about the Family Physician Academy and Coke

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
In a past blog of mine (Partnership Between Family Physicians and Coca-Cola Poses Ethical Problem) I wrote, "What does my national academy of family physicians, the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), and Coca-Cola have in common? The common sense answer should be, 'Nothing.' The actual answer is, '$500,000.' Ouch!" Now, the family medicine professor I featured in the previous blog has written the following to me. I'd be interested in your take, dear reader, on this issue: Dear Walt, Partnership Between Family Physicians and Coca-Cola Poses Ethical Problem As a fellow family physician, I am sure you know about the AAFP's decision to accept money from Coca Cola to develop "health education materials" regarding beverages, hydration and sweeteners on familydoctor.org. True to their word, they have done this. What…
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Choosing the Best Sunscreen – Consumer Reports Recommendations

Cancer, Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
With summer upon us, it's time to stock up on sunscreen for the season. To help navigate the vast selection crowding store shelves and to ensure you're getting the best protection against, sunburn and skin cancer, Consumer Reports Health has released its list of top-rated sunscreens. And, here are the details from a report on AOL: Consumer Reports analyzed how well 12 different sprays, lotions and creams blocked both UVA and UVB rays, and tested whether their claimed sun protection factor (SPF) -- the measure of UVB protection -- held up on volunteers who soaked in water while wearing the sunscreen. Four of those tied for best overall score: Up & Up Sport Continuous SPF 30 (Target) Walgreens Sport Continuous SPF 50 Banana Boat Sport Performance Continuous SPF 30 Aveeno…
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Choosing the Best Sunscreen – Health Magazine Recommendations

Cancer, Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
If you're heading outside this summer, bring sunscreen. But with so many choices on the shelves, how can you choose which one is best for you and your family? Here's a great report adapted from ABC News that will help: Sunscreen spray has become the most user-friendly these days, but many still cling to their lotions. "It's all about personal preference," said Frances Largeman-Roth, a senior editor for Health magazine. She tested sunscreen products and compiled a list that will keep you and your family safe from the sun's rays. Largeman-Roth said, "The Banana Boat Ultra Defense SPF 85, we loved it because it absorbs on contact and it's a continuous spray. So if you have little kids who love to run away from you when you put the sunscreen on, just…
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No evidence sunscreen use promotes skin cancer

Cancer, Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
On the NBC Nightly News (May 25, 2010), NBC medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman, MD, discussed sunscreen use, disputing a charge made by an environmental group that sunscreens containing vitamin A may increase the chance of developing skin cancer. After pointing out that the study to which the group referred was performed on mice, Dr. Snyderman stated, "I don't see any evidence or proof that the use of sunscreens causes or promotes skin cancer" in humans. She went on to advise viewers to wear sunscreen while outdoors and to look for products that protect against "UVA and UVB rays that cause skin cancer and ... wrinkles." She added, and I agree, "Anything over an SPF of 50, you're probably wasting your money."
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Poll: Too many Americans not using sunscreen

Cancer, Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Even as summer temperatures soar, Americans are turning a cold shoulder to sunscreen, according to a poll released recently. According to a report in Reuters Health: Only one-fifth of Americans wear sunscreen before going outside most days during the summer and just under one-third apply it even a few days during the season, according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Despite the attention of the healthcare industry on the role of sunscreen in preventing skin cancer, about 40 percent of Americans never apply sunscreen at all before going out and only 9 percent wear it everyday, the poll of 1,004 people, showed. One of the regions with the lowest use of sunscreen was the South, where 46 percent of people said they never using sunscreen at all during the summer.…
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